Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oregon Museum of Science & Industry: One of the Nation's Best

OK, I'll admit we haven't been to every science and industry museum in the U.S., so I probably shouldn't make a claim without great comparisons. BUT, we have been in some of the most expansive science museums in the Western States and I have to say Portland's OMSI is the best in the West. Sure, I love the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the St. Louis Science Center certainly distracted us from our intended route, and Santa Ana's Discovery Science Center was a pleasant surprise. But with its fantastic tradition of hands-on learning, variety of exhibits, expansive space, friendly and helpful docents, a IMAX theater and planetarium, OMSI is tough to beat.

The first time we visited, we were there for a half a day. The next time, we amended our stay plans to accommodate three full days in OMSI - enough time for a pair of very young children to take in most of the exhibits that interested them, plus a couple of the IMAX offerings and a planetarium show. Three full days for three people - that's worthy of purchasing a membership, and that membership helped us afford lots of other science center entries on our 2008 trip.

This year, we introduced a former classmate and longtime friend to the pleasures that awaited her daughter, until our visit an aficionado on the toddler discovery room, but completely unaware of the pleasures that awaited her in the Turbine Hall. Oh, what will she do when she discovers the Life Sciences wing, the puzzles downstairs near the cafeteria, the chemistry lab and, oh yeah, the little section upstairs with OH so much to do. Kassie, We give to you - OMSI!

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  1. What days of the week would you recommend visiting and what are there prices like in comparison to the museums in California?

  2. Those are great questions, Anonymous. We tend not to visit anything on weekends if we can help it. Weekdays at OMSI are superb. But the place is gigantic, so I suspect even on busy weekend's there's plenty of elbow room. For prices, check I think it's well worth the current $12/adult, $9/youth/senior prices, particularly given you can EASILY fill an entire day for that price. SFO's Exploratorium is $15/$12 and Discovery Science Center is $12.95/$9.95.


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